The Future of Search is Social

July 5th, 2010 No Comments

Watch out Google, Facebook and the Social Graph are the future. Just when you thought you were finally getting it, with SEO and realizing that your customers find you online, comes a new concept – first introduced in 2004 or 2005: social search.

Optimizing and engaging on social networks are one important way to help potential customers or stakeholders find your brand.

From Wikipedia:

Social search or a social search engine is a type of web search method that determines the relevance of search results by considering the interactions or contributions of users. When applied to web search this user-based approach to relevance is in contrast to established algorithmic or machine-based approaches where relevance is determined by analyzing the text of each document or the link structure of the documents

Social search means that you will see more relevant search results. Based on traditional word of mouth marketing — you trust your friend and neighbors’ recommendations more than a random stranger – social search merely brings this old concept to your extended network. As we communicate with our neighbors, friends, and even our spouses online instead of over the telephone or fence post, social search is merely an extension of real life moving online.

According to Wikipedia, some of the benefits of social search are:

  • Increased relevance because each result has been selected by users.
  • Leverage a network of trusted individuals by providing an indication of whether they thought a particular result was good or bad.
  • The introduction of ‘human judgement’ suggests that each web page has been viewed and endorsed by one or more people, and they have concluded it is relevant and worthy of being shared with others using human techniques that go beyond the computer’s current ability to analyze a web page.
  • Web pages are considered to be relevant from the reader’s perspective, rather than the author who desires their content to be viewed, or the web master as they create links.
  • More current results. Because a social search engine is constantly getting feedback it is potentially able to display results that are more current or in context with changing information.

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